Michael Kopech exited Monday’s White Sox game during first inning
Chicago White Sox right-hander Michael Kopech exited Monday’s game against the Kansas City Royals with a left knee injury, the White Sox team announced in a Tweet on Monday.
According to CBS Sports, Kopeck was visited by his manager Tony La Russa and pitching coach Ethan Katz, who evaluated him. He was then allowed to start the game despite showing signs of visible discomfort during warm-ups.
He faced four batters and pitched 19 pitches, nine of which were strikes. During the game, his velocity clocked in at 91.7, which is three ticks below his seasonal norm according to CBS Sports.
After exiting the field, Kopeck was replaced by right hander Jimmy Lambert. The cause of Kopech’s injury on Monday remains unknown, although it is known that he has dealt with right knee discomfort throughout this season. An MRI conducted in June confirmed that he had fluid buildup in his right knee, but there were no structural issues to be concerned about.
Writer Vinnie Parise blamed Manager Tony La Russa, tweeting on Monday:
Michael Kopech leaves with injury (it was clear that he was injured before he started).
Tony La Russa let him go and it’s 1-0 Royals with the bases loaded and 0 outs.
Final batter was four straight balls.
Hall of Fame manager.
— Vinnie Parise (@VinnieParise) August 22, 2022
And he wasn’t the only one frustrated with how La Russa handled the Michael Kopech situation:
You let Michael Kopech, who dealt with a major injury and took two years off because of it, come on to the field to throw after he suffered an injury to his knee in warm ups.
You embarrassed him for what? To save your crypt keeper manager some face?
Failures, All of them.
— Cheap Seats Pod (@cheapbbpodcast) August 22, 2022
Letting Michael Kopech pitch when he was clearly hurt is reason #194758194 why Tony and the entire training staff need to pack their bags the second this season is over.
— Mike (@ChiSoxFanMike) August 22, 2022
Despite criticism however, Kopech has cleared the 100-inning mark for the first time since 2018, and he entered Monday with a 3.25 ERA. La Russa’s controversial handling of Kopech comes days after he came under fire for issuing an intentional walk in a two-strike count.
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